Did you guys know our 16th president was a vampire hunter? Did you know the American Civil War, was against a horde of vampires who could go invisible? Well Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter is one of the many films that have been released in the last year telling us a different story than what history would have us believe. While this film balances some factual things with a lot of things that are fantasy, one thing is for sure, this film was a lot of fun. Benjamin Walker plays Lincoln in an offbeat way that seems almost Van Helsing meets Daniel Day Lewis in a comedy. This film covers 3 different time periods, one is in 1818 when Abraham was a little boy and witnessed his mother die in a mysterious way and vows revenge on the one who did this to her. The film shows Lincoln hunting down the assailant Jack Barts, and finding out he is not human and cannot be killed in human means. So when Jack is about to kill him, Honest Abe is saved by Henry Sturgess who has dedicated his life to being a vampire hunter and is out to kill them all. So, when Jack gets away, Henry befriends Abe to help him to kill the vampires. Well, the film fast forwards to the mid 1830’s and Abe moves to Springfield, now with no family alive and emotional attachment to anyone he is in this city to rid it of its vampires. Well, as you can guess things get a little complicated and Abe meets Mary Todd who he is smitten by, but still knows that Jack is on the loose and he has to stop him, but against the advice of Henry Abe falls in love. Then, the last half of the film focuses on when Abe went into office in 1861 and covers all the way thru his whole term to 1865.
This film tries to be somewhat historical, and cover topics like slavery and how Lincoln fought to free the slaves and briefly touched on the Lincoln-Douglas debates, this film has a sense of humor at times and it was refreshing because this film you want to sit back and just relax and at times laugh, and have fun. This film provides all of those aspects and very well. but should have been more humor filled then it was. I would have loved if they included some kind of reference to Booth in this film, I mean as famous Lincoln is for what he did in his lifetime and presidential term; Booth is the other side of the coin, and infamous for what he did. That would have made this film interesting to address that topic, which leads me to my big gripe with this film. I hated that they did not try to mock the history speeches and reenactments. I wish, this film would have had fun with that stuff and just made it so less serious. I mean, we have the Lincoln film coming to give us that long drawn out story in a serious mode, this is a horror film and the title alone leaves room for parody, why not make some humor out of the retelling of historical facts? The gore and violence in this film were very well done, and so were the set designs and the costume designs. When they go to New Orleans in the 1830’s to meet the head of the Vampire clan it was like they were really in that era and time.
I like the mixture of facts and fiction, and I love the concept as farfetched as it sounds it is actually a lot better than you think. The negatives to me were this film tries too hard to be serious; it should have been more in a humorous mode than a serious slant. I want to think that if Lincoln had a choice to watch one of the many films made about him, he could relate to this one more because it really made him look like he is some kind of axe wielding badass who will maim and kill anyone for our country and freedom. All in all, pop up some corn, get a cold drink and sit back and have fun this film is more fun than it has any right to be.
8 out of 10